Wednesday, December 31, 2003

so yet another year comes to an end. frankly speaking, I don't belive in this new year crap. i think it's the same old shit in a new pack.
so i am splashed across the newspaper, spouting wisdom on what i think are the issues plaguing Lokhandwala Versova and what needs to be done...i wish i could have spoken my mind, straight on. i wish i didn't have to be politically correct. i would have told them that the biggest problems in the area are the yuppies who live there.
nanny's back, she is the only one who loves my haircut!
spoke to good lookin' tarun yesterday. met good lookin' dran! too many good lookin' people to handle.
My biggest ordeal in 2003: Getting a job after ACJ. (ACJ..huh..what ACJ??where ACJ??)
High points of 2003: Our film, Surviving Life, my screw -Reliance story, blogging.
Biggest regret:was not there with ammamma during her last moments, moving to Cuffe Parade.

Friday, December 26, 2003

feeling disconnected at workplace. want to sit and stare and watch the world go by. can't believe there is no time to do that.

feeling quite jealous of shibbs right now. she has a whole week off, while i sit and slog doubly hard.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

i was about five then and as soon as i used to step into her house, our village house, she would swing me in her arms. give me the biggest bear hug, and immediately take me to the garden to show me the newest buds in her rose shrubs. i would then run and peep into the well. not for any particular reason, but just a sense of reassurance i guess. and then she would point to the rest of the greenery around and show me her latest acquisitions, lillies, oliander, jasmine.

ammamma, much like her flowers, delicate, colourful, sweet smelling, beautiful passed away. ammamma, the one person i want to grow old like is no more. there will be no more silver hair to braid, no more new recipes to discuss, no more articles of mine to read out to her. i never imagined that she would leave such a huge void that no one could fill, but it's true. and you know what's killing me...i didn't meet her before she passed away. i missed her enchanting, soothing smile, i missed her tears, i missed holding her hand for one last time. i missed telling her that i will be ok.

for us and for the rest of the people she knew, she was ammamma. everbody young and old called her that. in a way that kinda upset me, coz the word had some special significance for me. i didn't want everyone to call her that. but i guess everybody else felt that way about her too.

i remember when we were young and the village house hadn't been sold out, we would go religiously every year in summer to her house. and return only after the rains had arrived in kerala. after the guided tour of the gardens, she would take me inside and we would sit on the swing. thatha would take us to the orchard and show us the jackfruit that was ready to be plucked and the mangoes that were hanging low.

thatha for us was a stately figure, a no nonsense man, whom we would admire and respect. ammamma on the other hand was the soft, good humoured, lady whom we simply loved. no strings attached.

i think the greattest lesson i learnt from her was that of patience. not once in my life of 21 years have i seen her losing her temper. and people much older than me tell me the same thing about her. even when thatha would lose his temper, she woudl remain quiet and talk to him only after he had calmed down.

she would tell us long stories about her life in Malaysia, where she lived in her childhood, about the way she would be taken on a bicycle to school. she didn't complete her schooling and was married off pretty early. but she made sure that her English schooling didn't go waste. she would read for hours and tell us the latest news. she was my greatest playmate in bhubaneshwar, where she lived with us for some time. i would throw tantrums, yell, act like a pest, but each time she would smile, i would just give in. we would go for long walks, talk about my problems with the strict school teacher, or my best friend who had just stopped talking to me, etc. evenings were spent sitting in the balcony rehearsing the Carnatic songs she had taught me. bedtime had the essential story tellign session, without which I would refuse to shut my eyes. i would listen to her with my mouth open wondering where she got all these stories from. these long never ending stories.

the day ammamma and thatha sold the village house i cried my heart out. "it's mine, i 'll take care of it." i yelled. once they moved to mumbai, we would go to meet them almost every weekend. diwali, rakhi, new years, and every other festival was spent with them. with ammamma's special rasam and sweets for the occassion.

all this while, parkinsons was making her weaker and weaker. her shivers grew from milder to stronger. there were times when she wouldn't be able to hold a cup. btu i kept telling myself that she would become better.

five years ago, thatha passed away. she held us close. me and my mum. we were her soulmates, her confidantes. my mum especially. she would call my mum her son. but her condition only grew worse after thatha's death. the last three years have been torturous her. all that was left of her was a skeletal frame. but her smile hadn't diminished, the silver hair was still there. and her mind was active as ever.

in her last few weeks with us, she had become thinner, her voice had become too low for us to hear, she was bedridden. she didnt have the strength to speak up, but her smile was still there. it was enchanting as ever, and quite frankly, she still looked like a million bucks with that smile. for me she will remain the epitome of beauty. she made the aging process look beautiful and taught us what it was to age gracefully. if there's anyone i want to be like when i grow old, it's her for sure.

when ammamma passed away on saturday at around 6 :15 pm (the same time and day that thatha had passed away five years ago), she left behind a whole lot of people who felt like orphans without her. the house was filled with people who came fromas far as pune immediately to see her for one last time.

as for me, i was in a corner still waiting for her to smile.

Friday, December 19, 2003

so went to Not just Jazz By The Bay yesterday...nice place with some great music. listened to QED. pretty good stuff. Alternative rock..saw some pretty impressive guitaring.

but yet again..there are far too many xavierities in the world. and everybody seems to know everybody. it's getting too sick to handle.

ok i think this time i went too far, with my haircut. my dad is still in splits everytime he sees me, and people in office mistook me for the canteen boy. as for shibbs, she is still recovering from the shock.

Anand Patwadhan is a phenomenal filmmaker. he epitomises patience, hard work, and dedication. tons of research, follow up, and the will to complete a venture that was four years ago, finally leads to War and Peace. the movie simply stirs you, shakes you, strikes you.

Ram ke Naam, is yet another brilliant film which reveals the hypocrisy of the Ram Janmobhoomi movement, with no Tehelka- like sting operations. it's amazing how he gets people to speak on camera.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

i need direction in life. "joyful work" ..i have forgotten what that term means...sometimes i think i am becoming as superficial as the issues i am covering. five and a half year old turns celeb host! for christ's sake..i need direction.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

so yet another week's work will be brought to test by the desk. they will ridicule, bitch, complain, crib. about us. the reporters. i think it's a divide meant to be for some strange reason that i will never figure out.

but for me, i am too happy to say anything..India Won!! after 22 long years. Dravid's the man.

celebrated with a haircut. i remember haircuts as a kid were traumatising after a certain point. especially when your dad makes you sit alongside your brother at the barber's and get the same haircut. sometimes shorter. at the end of the haircut, i would leave with tears streaming down my eyes, with my dad still complaining about the length. would come back home, yelling and then sulking, about the length. now it's they who sulk about the length, or rather the lack of it.

there is finally a nip in the air!!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

so went to the police station with shibbs. poor shibs who is still mourning the loss of her mobile. the polic guy was probably in his best behaviour ever..(power of the press??). and after treating us like royalty, bid us goodbye saying, "police ke baare mein accha likhna!"
some hidden agenda that!!

i hate monday mornings!!

deedee_gogo (roopa for the uninitiated) is busy interviewing amateur rockstars to infrastructure experts.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

well, back to action...did that screw Reliance story. had the Vice President BSES Corporate Communications come over to office to meet me to offer his clarification...(power of the press ??)tried desperately to make me hold back te story...he managed to convince my editor..well, almost..

but thankfully i managed to convince her otherwise...and finally the story did go in..700 truckloads of debris...some nerve they have to hold the story..

all those early mornings spent investigating the situation, ferry riding, and walking three kms finally paid off!! so mum's impressed that i have taken on the big corporates, but dad is convinced that i will never get a reliance phone!!haha..

i am happy after a long time...all those boat rides into the creek, reminded me of Rameshwaram..where of course i had a blast making our film...but were ripped apart during the screening..bumpity bump (haha)

saw the Hello World Project sms's being screened on the Air India building...sent some corny message which never got bored and walked back home...well almost..

finally, there should be a ban on corporate communication guys. they make everything sound perfect!! i mean they could make murder sound like a common cold.

Monday, December 08, 2003

going to get fired this week..for sure...

Sunday, December 07, 2003

so whatever happened at Chattisgarh, thought jogi had the social chemistry right...anyways am having a tough time trying to get myself on the voting list here...they are making me run from pillar to post.

and the media is all gung ho about three women sweeping the polls..i mean get a grip..

going for a ferry ride tomorro, to click snaps of debris dumped by BSES on mangroves while constructing a electric tower three years back. anything to screw Reliance..haha.

Friday, December 05, 2003 blog is behaving funny, nothing that i blog if i didnt have enough problems already..

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

was talking to the guy who busted the bribery case...
K Narayanan..communist..and somewhere in a little gully in capitalist Mumbai, faraway from the US of A, there is a small frail looking but strong willed man convinced to sow the seeds of socialism slowly but steadily..ready to convert people through practise..he leads the life he preaches...(Are you listening Mr Bush)..
Narayanan is not waiting for a revolution, he is the revolution...

so i am wallowing in guilt since yesterday. did this sensational story on this professional tax agent who was caught red handed by the Anti corruption all went fine until i went to her building to get the residents' reactions. and i assumed that her family would get me thrown out of her house.. took my chances and went to her place nonetheless. surprisingly was welcomed by her son who even offered me water!! and i was thinking.."What the hell? doesent he know that he is supposed to shut the door on my face,i am from the media, the vouyersitic medium that loves to blow things out of proportion."
was totally speechless after that...
our conversation, " have you met my mother? i haven't even spoken to is she? my dad told me about her arrest..i am sorry i do nto know much about her work, i am too busy with my i can't comment on it.."
( I am too speechless to even say a word)
.and then as we get ready to leave, "So...all this will be in the papers by tomorrow ..huh??"
I tell him, " don't worry, i won't print your name, i know what it means to you..and your career..blaaah"
he says, "thanks.."
i am ready for the earth to split and swallow me. I am this lowly creature who just wants my only way of getting over it was not to write anything about the except refer to him as her son who is studying in college...i know i owe it to him in a sort of way..just wondering if my editor thinks i am just being a moron..actually i don't care..when he said thanks, i was going to die...the feeling is too overpowering to get over.
parallely, why the hell did his mum ever do that? all for 3000 measly bucks...why why why??

anyways have been working from 8 in the morning to 11 in the night for three days straight...i need a break.

Monday, December 01, 2003

horrors of horrors!! just discovered that well known eccentric has been reading my blog and has been posting messages. don't want to meet him ever. i am so doomed!!

so i am going to be the next in the line to lose my job because of my blog. anyways problems at office continue. generally i don't think reporters and subs were are ever supposed to get along. i for one have strong feelings (of haterd of course) for my sub. she almost hounds me. even on sundays!!

want to meet jean dreze someday. gg is having a perfect life in jnu. got a 1560 in his gre and he is soon going to be a famous economist. all these bongs i tell you!!

trying to build contacts at the BMC local ward office. trying to get some infrastructuer scoop. hope it works out.

my source is getting very irritating. he thinks he is Deep throat part 2.